WHAT IS THE BROWARD HEALTH EMPLOYEE EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND?
The Broward Health Employee Emergency Relief Fund (BHEERF) is a program developed by the Broward Health Foundation (BHF), the fundraising arm of Broward Health that is dedicated to improving the health of the community by promoting, supporting and enhancing the healthcare system’s programs and initiatives. The Foundation established the BHEERF to provide assistance to employees who have been affected by hardship due to events beyond their control, including disasters, extended illnesses or injuries, and other special situations. The fund supports employees by providing emergency information, referrals and/or financial grants to help pay for essential necessities.
WHY WAS THE BROWARD HEALTH EMPLOYEE EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND ESTABLISHED?
To further reinforce Broward Health’s commitment to our employee family, the BHEERF can help provide funds toward essential living expenses, such as housing, utilities, food, clothing and other basic necessities. Broward Health previously established a Disaster Relief Fund to assist employees affected by federally qualified disasters. The new BHEERF expands the type of support Broward Health offers to employee in need.
IS THE BHEERF A PRIVATE FOUNDATION OR A PUBLIC CHARITY?
The BHEERF is a 501(c) (3) public charity. We have chosen to form a public charity rather than a private foundation because certain federal tax laws prevent a private foundation from giving grants to employees, other than in times of a declared natural disaster. As a public charity, a significant amount of donations must come from sources outside of the corporation. Broward Health employees can make tax-deductible donations to the BHEERF, and the BHEERF can subsequently provide tax-free grants to qualifying employees.
HOW IS BROWARD HEALTH SUPPORTING THE BHEERF?
Broward Health is covering all administrative costs related to the operations of the BHEERF. This allows for 100% of the donations received to go directly toward providing grants to employees who have a qualifying need.
HOW IS THE BHEERF FUNDED?
The program was created in 2020 with an initial, one-time gift from Broward Health Foundation Board of Directors and is sustained through the community, visitors, vendors, physicians and employee contributions. Funding is made available as donations are received.
WILL DONORS KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THOSE THEY ASSIST?
No, to respect and protect the privacy of our grantees, only general award information will be available on the website and those recipients who choose to share their story will be featured.
WHAT TYPES OF EVENTS QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE?
Qualifying events or hardships include:
- Extreme difficulty with basic daily expenses related to critical illness or injury affecting employees and their immediate family.
- Disasters such as, but not limited to, fire, flood, tornado or hurricane.
- Death or terminal illness of an immediate family member that requires long-distance travel. Funding will only be provided once, for either travel to help care for terminally ill family member, or travel for funeral.
Other qualifying hardships or crisis situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- The BHEERF does not cover benefits premiums while on leave of absence.
- The BHEERF is not intended to serve as an insurance policy or to replace the need for fire, flood, home, health and/or life insurance.
- There is no entitlement to receive funds under the Program.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF THE FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Relief funds typically range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the need and documentation provided.
DOES THE BHEERF GUARANTEE THAT A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FUNDING WILL BE GIVEN TO EACH FACILITY?
The BHEERF was created to serve wherever there is need. We do not restrict funds to a particular facility for several reasons:
- To keep the Broward Health Foundation’s designation as a 501(c) (3) public charity, the BHEERF must meet certain criteria. For example, the class of recipients must be large enough to establish that the "community" is benefiting - not a "private party."
- Eligibility for receiving assistance can't be limited to those facilities where employees give, as this is counter to charitable organizations.
HOW IS THE BHEERF ADMINISTRATION STRUCTURED?
The Broward Health Employee Emergency Relief Fund is governed by a board of directors who in turn authorizes the committee to review the applications and make recommendations.
HOW IS THE BHEERF COMMITTEE DETERMINED?
The BHEERF committee is a subset of the Broward Health Foundation’s board of directors. The committee shall not include any Broward Health employees.